Tagged: Happy New Year

Welcome to 2013

Following a rocky server migration that took longer than anticipated, L2Ork is now ready for another exciting semester. As part of the server migration our website has gotten a face-lift and a lot of behind-the-curtain systems have been updated and cleaned up. Hope you like our new design :-)

I am also thrilled to report that L2Ork has now become one of the signature initiatives of the newfound Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) and its Integrative Mind & Performance through the Arts, Creativty, and Technology (IMPACT) studio. With the grand opening of the new Center for the Arts less than nine months away… things do not get any more exciting than this.

L2Orkists spent the bulk of the fall 2012 semester helping with the infrastructure overhaul, namely laptop refresh (more about that soon), and a rigorous beta-testing of pd-l2ork software. As a result, we now have a formidable and ultra-stable platform we can continue building upon. Pd-l2ork is now leaner and meaner than ever. As a matter of fact, just a couple days ago we released our first officially stable snapshot (version 20130111). Enhancements are listed on the git page. The new builds now also support debian binaries for both 32-bit and 64- bit installs and the installers have been overhauled to make compiling from source easier than ever. For more info on this and a myriad of other cool features (like universal preset system) go to our Software page and download the latest version. As always, your comments and feedback are most welcome and appreciated–so, please consider joining us on our l2ork-dev mailing list.

This past fall, we’ve continued working with the Boys & Girls Club of Southwestern Virginia and consequently improving on the pd-l2ork K12 module. The result is a robust tool with a growing body of documentation linking it to K12 education.

This past fall, I was contacted by an old friend Michael Barnhart, who expressed interest in starting a K12 satellite laptop orchestra based on L2Ork’s K12 framework. I am pleased to report that Shawnee State in Ohio is now a home of yet another K12 satelllite laptop orchestra :-) Around the same time, we’ve had another inquiry from Florida about a possibility of organizing a similar K12 initiative in the Orange state. This opportunity is currently pending. I cannot get excited enough about the prospect of growing number of K12 programs like the one we started here at Virginia Tech a couple years ago.

With the infrastructure now being as solid as it gets and our education-based outreach growing, it’s finally time to shift our attention back to music, which is a good thing as I’ve been itching for some time to write another piece for the ensemble. If any of you out there are interested in writing for the ensemble, do not hesitate to contact us–there has never been a better time than now to write for us! And as we look forward to this next semester and all the opportunities it may bring, I guess this is as good time as any to remind all VT students to consider enrolling in the L2Ork ensemble. L2Ork is always on a lookout for a new talent, so please do not hesitate to contact us!

As always, we have some exciting new announcements to make in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more updates soon!

And so begins the fourth year of L2Ork’s journey…

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Happy Holidays!

Thank You Cards from the Gilbert Linkous ElementaryGiven the lack of fresh blogging on our front page, one might have begun to wonder if L2Ork had filed for whatever is the academic equivalent of Chapter 11. In part to dispel such unfounded concerns, it is my hope the following post is going to assure you L2Ork is not only still here, it is stronger than ever. It is simply that we’ve all been tremendously busy this past semester and as such our blogging activities have taken a back seat until things settled down a bit. So, what have we been up to?

Our membership has been on a steady rise and our infrastructure keeps improving on a daily basis. As a matter of fact, apart from upgrading to Ubuntu 10.04 (a.k.a. Long Term Support release), we’ve had a slew of pd-l2ork updates to the point we now maintain our own Git hub. Most recently, pd-l2ork has introduced infinite undo and a number of graphically-friendly editing options that should make creating pieces for the ensemble a breeze (belated warning: non-geek readers may want to simply skip the previous two sentences altogether :-).

Technical matters aside (as exciting as they may be), the fall has proven an intense semester, indeed. Apart from the Virginia State Fair which has also spawned flattering media coverage, L2Ork has also had shows at Ferrum College as well as Blacksburg’s Gilbert Linkous Elementary, where we’ve received standing ovations for performances of pieces I honestly worried would be too long and slow-paced for kindergarten, elementary and middle school children. With such thankful audience I must say that performance is definitely among my favorites. And as if that weren’t enough, kids from the entire school have drawn and mailed us literally dozens upon dozens of thank you cards featuring scenes and student impressions from our performance! Finally, in early November, I took a trip down to Texas A&M for an invited lecture and performance as part of the award L2Ork received this past February.

All in all, it’s been a busy semester and with the newfound Virginia Tech Institute for Creativity, Arts & Technology (ICAT) now in full swing, it appears the next semester will be even more intense (more on that soon…). So, while we are all trying to catch our collective breaths, spend some quality time with our families, and indulge in eggnog, I invite you to check out latest version of pd-l2ork, visit our YouTube page, join our Facebook page, or follow us via our new Twitter account (many thanks to L2Orkists for their initiative on this one!). I wish you all very best for the Holidays and a Happy New Year!

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Welcome to 2010

It’s been an amazingly restful break, so much so, the other day when I was filling out some VT paperwork I could not remember my office phone number. I am hoping this is a sign I indeed had a good vacation, rather than the fact that I am getting old…

Over the past weeks we’ve had enjoyed some great news coverage on L2Ork:

Since our December debut our site has received over 660,000 hits in December alone and our story has been featured in a number of international news outlets. Consequently, I would like to use this opportunity to extend my deepest gratitude to all who have showed such a tremendous interest in and support for L2Ork. Special thanks go to our PR Manager Jean Elliott as well as L2Ork Stakeholders and Sponsors and obviously all l2orkists without whom none of this would’ve been possible.

As I look forward to another semester full of new L2Ork adventures, I hope you will stay with us as we post additional content and information on this site, including Linux image and other software goodies. In the meantime, I invite you to check out the stories above as well as get a taste of L2Ork by visiting our Media pages.

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